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Rachael F. Long

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I'm a multimedia journalist covering local news in one of Tennessee's most affluent counties. 

LONG-FORM STORIES

Has the time come for a combination fire department in Nolensville? Fire Chief says ‘yes’

After a heated meeting of town department heads over committee budget requests Monday, Nolensville Volunteer Fire Department (NVFD) Chief Brian Moat walked out of the meeting in frustration. His requests to add paid personnel, including a paid chief, to the entirely volunteer fire department were not included in the first draft of the Nolensville FY 2019-2020 budget.
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Engineering students examine Natchez Trace Bridge, seeking solutions to suicide crisis

As cold rain briefly subsided and a grey sky loomed overhead, three engineering students stood on a bridge and gazed down at the low guardrails. The Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge in northern Williamson County has been the location of more than 32 reported suicides. They, along with three other University of Tennessee engineering students, have been tasked with designing some kind of barrier which could be installed as a safety measure on the bridge.
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Residents of soon-to-close Aurora mobile home park plead with City Council for help

More than 50 residents facing eviction from a north Aurora mobile home park pleaded with City Council members for help this week, in another attempt to stop the park’s owner from forcing them out. “I feel like I’m abandoned. It’s breaking my heart,” Petra Bennett, a 17-year resident of Denver Meadows Mobile and RV Park, told Aurora City Council members Monday night. “But you, as the leaders of the city, have a choice to help low-income communities like us. So I beg you, choose.”
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DAILY STORIES

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Brentwood ponders electric scooter ban

Brentwood could say “no” to electric scooter rental companies. Kirk Bednar, Brentwood city manager, noted earlier this month to city commissioners that the city has not received any indication that scooter companies have an interest in beginning service in Brentwood. But at a recent city commission informational meeting, Bednar said city staff had discussed implementing a commercial scooter ban within city limits to proactively avoid potential safety issues. The state of Tennessee recently pa

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'Put your money where your mouth is:’ Residents take a closer look at town of Nolensville proposed budget

Anthropologist Margaret Mead could have been speaking directly to small-town Middle Tennessee residents when she said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Nolensville residents crowded the Town Hall chambers at Thursday’s meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. As they got up to speak one after another, a sense of the citizens’ demands for answers from elected leaders rippled through the room.

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'It can happen in Williamson County:' Nashville’s sexual assault clinic also a resource for Williamson County residents

*Editor’s note: This article contains discussions of sexual assault. If you or a loved one has been a victim of sexual assault, the National Sexual Assault Hotline is 1-800-656-4673. Since its opening in August 2018, the SAFE Clinic at the Sexual Assault Center (SAC) in Nashville has helped more than 120 victims of sexual assault.

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Nolensville's independent investigation finds no evidence of harassment, gender-based discrimination in former police officer's allegations

*Editor’s note: The investigation contained within this report contains obscenities, foul language and contains descriptions of sexual harassment. **Editor’s note: Home Page obtained the town’s investigation after filing a Freedom of Information Act request Friday, April 27, 2019. In September of 2017, the Town of Nolensville retained Thomas Whitworth of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak and Stewart law firm to investigate the complaints made by former Nolensville police officer Cindy Strange regarding her employment with the town.

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Town releases statement regarding Cindy Strange v. Town of Nolensville sexual discrimination, harassment lawsuit

The Town of Nolensville called claims made in a discrimination lawsuit by a former Nolensville police officer “meritless” in a statement released in a Thursday Facebook post. Cindy Strange filed the suit this past August against the town and two of its former employees for alleged wage discrimination based on her gender as well as sex discrimination, harassment and retaliation.

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BREAKING: Nolensville fire chief resigns, claiming lack of town's support

Volunteer Fire Chief Brian Moat disclosed his imminent resignation Saturday, April 6, effective midnight, during an interview at E&B Coffee Roasters in Nolensville with the Nolensville Home Page. Moat says his decision to step down has been coming for months, but the April 6 Board of Mayor and Alderman (BOMA) meeting was the last straw. Town leaders approved the first reading of the proposed town budget Thursday, which did not include Moat’s requests to fund paid personnel for the volunteer de

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PK Subban enlists Puffy Muffin to make retirement cake for girlfriend, professional ski racer Lindsey Vonn

If you don’t know the meaning behind the acronym “GOAT,” you might not understand why Nashville Predator PK Subban got his significant other a goat-shaped cake. The acronym has become widely known to mean “Greatest Of All Time.” (If you’re wondering where the phrase came from, it seems most give credit to Muhammad Ali’s wife who reportedly incorporated G.O.A.T., Inc. in 1992.)

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PHOTOS: Townspeople gather to watch as Morton-Brittain historic home is moved

As if the town had organized a nighttime parade, residents of Nolensville gathered Monday night to watch as the Morton-Brittain historic home was moved. The 1870-era home was moved in three pieces, with the widest section in the middle. As tractor trailers carried the home down its mile-long journey, onlookers took pictures and videos to document history in the making.

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Southeast opens door to dogs, cat, lizard at Myers Hall

For residents of Myers Hall, the age-old excuse "my dog ate my homework" might finally carry some weight. Myers Hall is the home to Southeast 0s newest pet-friendly policy, and resident assistant Rachel Rigney is one of the first to take advantage, of making Southeast home to her 6-month-old orange tabby cat, Ollie. This is the first semester students have been invited to house their pets on campus, and Rigney said there are only a handful of pets living in Myers Hall (four, according to Dire

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Colorado’s Congressional incumbents easily hold on to their seats

Veteran Congresswoman Diana DeGette easily fended off progressive insurgent Saira Rao in the Democratic primary for Colorado’s 1st Congressional District, claiming about 72 percent of the vote. Meanwhile, Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn held off opponents Owen Hill, a state senator, and Darryl Glenn, a county commissioner, in the 5th Congressional District primary. Lamborn had about 53 percent of the vote while his closest competitor, Glenn, had about 20 percent.

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Hickenlooper responds to cries against separating immigrant families. Activists call for public vigilance.

Hickenlooper responds to cries against separating immigrant families. Activists call for public vigilance. About 60 people chanting rally cries such as “Actions not words, John, actions not words” took to the Capitol Monday morning demanding that Gov. John Hickenlooper issue an executive order against human rights violations. And that he did. As the Trump administration enforces its “zero-tolerance policy” on illegal immigration, the term-limited Democrat joined governors in states like New Y

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Reaching New Heights: Southeast student to compete in 'American Ninja Warrior' national TV show

The ringing of Peyton Mogley’'s cell phone pierced the air on the afternoon of Thursday, March 22, disrupting a meeting she was having with her student government chief of staff. When Mogley saw the Los Angeles-based number calling, she knew it had to be one of two things: either it was a credit card company or it was the call she’d been waiting on since her sophomore year. Her “Hello,” was followed by a moment of pure disbelief. That’s because the man on the other end was Rod from “American Ni

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Southeast student working to raise transgender flag

Rane Belling wants to fly the transgender flag on March 31 over Academic Hall. The flag would fly below the United States flag on National Transgender Day of Visibility. Belling is doing all they can to give the students of Southeast a visual reminder of transgender visibility. As the graduate assistant for LGBTQ+ Education, Belling is highly involved in campus events which promote understanding and awareness of issues facing marginalized groups on campus. But now they are trying something ne

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Until We All Make It

Black History Month honors and remembers leaders in the African American community and their contributions to history. It celebrates black culture and it reminds us that the shortest month of the year is far from the least important. History books are filled with the names of these leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Maya Angelou, Rosa Parks, Booker T. Washington and Thurgood Marshall. But what about those names you may not recognize, the ones creating change today? What about the ones in o

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Women's March participant thinks 'feminism is for everyone'

Another Women’s March took place in several cities across the United States on Saturday. The marches fell one year after millions took to the streets the day following the inauguration of President Donald Trump. No marches blocked the streets of Cape Girardeau over the weekend, but that didn’t stop Southeast students from making their voices heard at nearby marches. Freshman Eli Bohnert was one of those students who made his way to St. Louis to join friends in protest of what he said should be

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SPECIAL PROJECTS

Website Design: The Impact Zone

After a four-month long investigation on the opioid epidemic in Southeast Missouri, myself and two of my colleagues put together a special series called, "The Impact Zone," which is an explanatory study of the opioid crisis in our region. Our design was inspired by the look of a clean, magazine layout which would allow the topic and its seriousness to be the center focus. I tried to embody that same design in the website I created (using Wix.com). 

Outstanding Women in Business

During the summer of 2017, I worked as an intern for the Denver Business Journal. Aside from writing regular content for the print edition, my big summer project was to profile 37 of Denver's most successful and "outstanding" women in business. In the span of just a few weeks, I created all the written content you'll find within this special 35-page report, which begins on PDF page 25.